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News Link • Surveillance

We're Next: Children of Guanajuato, Mexico in Biometric Database

However, of all countries, Mexico is really taking a step into the future when it comes to biometrics. It all started last September, when the residents of the city of Leon were due to be secured through iris scanning. Now, they are taking it to the next level, registering all children of the state of Guanajuato in a biometric database, which includes iris and fingerprint information. If things will continue to develop this way (and there is currently no reason for them not to), in ten more years we will probably live in a world where each one of us can be identified in any database by an eye scan, or fingerprint, or miniscule blood sample. At the risk of sounding trite and repetitive, I do have to say that this initiative brings to life what the filmmaker Steven Spielberg only imagined in his 2002 sci-fi drama, Minority Report. Ironically, I just happened to be recently watching that movie with my family, and amidst the action and cool special effects, my father and I struck up a discussion on whether or not the eye scanning system shown in the film was actually realistic. I argued that while it is definitely technically possible, we were a long way off from implementing it on a large scale, because, I thought, we do not yet have machines that scan many people at a time, and, on the ethical side, there would be many legal issues to work out before something like this was allowed to be put in practice. Little did I know…

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